Successful review for NWU SARChI Chair on Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease
The North-West University’s (NWU’s) Research Chair in Early Detection and Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease in Africa, held by Prof Alta Schutte of the Faculty of Health Sciences, has received a successful evaluation from the National Research Foundation.
South African Research Chairs Initiative (SARChI) Chairs are highly competitive and are therefore evaluated on a five-year basis for quality output, impact and excellence. It is therefore considered a great achievement to receive a successful review.
The successful evaluation means that funding for the chair can continue for a next five-year cycle.
Prof Schutte’s response to the evaluation speaks volumes. “I am delighted and relieved! The funding has made a significant impact on the work that we have been able to do over the past five years at the Hypertension in Africa Research Team (HART).
“Furthermore, it now enables us to strengthen our current programmes on how and why elevated blood pressure, and related organ damage, already occur in certain young individuals and populations. Ultimately, we wish to improve the situation in South Africa, namely to prevent hypertension development, as South Africa has a very high occurrence of high blood pressure, as well as stroke and heart attacks that develop as a result of raised blood pressure.”
Success depends on panel consensus
The NWU’s submission for review was subjected to assessment through a two-phase peer-evaluation process.
First, subject matter experts around the globe are invited to submit a written evaluation of the submission. These remote review reports, together with the proposal and other supporting material, then serve as key inputs into the deliberations of a review panel, comprising individuals from broad disciplines spanning the focus areas of the submission.
The panel recommendation outcome is by consensus.
Dr Sibo Sowazi, the NWU’s director for Research and Support, congratulated Prof Alta on securing renewal of the Chair’s funding cycle. “The NWU congratulates you on this wonderful achievement and wishes you all the best for your future endeavours under this initiative.”
More about Research Chairs and what they do
The purpose of Research Chairs is to promote South African research excellence, in the country and also internationally. The Research Chairs Initiative is a national programme initiated by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the National Research Foundation (NRF).
The holders of SARChI research chairs are excellent, seasoned and established researchers who have been recognised internationally for their research contributions.
They are primarily responsible for research and postgraduate training. Their research is on issues that government has identified as being of national importance and actively seeks to find solutions to the challenges in their specific fields.
Prof Alta Schutte’s Research Chair in Early Detection and Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease in Africa has received a successful five-year evaluation.